Intertextuality in Music since 1900, Lisbon, March 2015

Call for papers

“Intertextuality in Music since 1900”

jointly organised by:
CESEM/FCSH, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Institut für Musikwissenschaft, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck

to be held at:
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Lisbon (Portugal)
6-7 March 2015

Keynote speakers to include:
Nicholas Cook, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Julian Johnson, Royal Holloway, University of London
Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University, New York

The concept of intertextuality was originally developed in the context of poststructuralist literary theory by Julia Kristeva, who introduced the term in the mid-1960s in connection with her engagement with Mikhail Bakhtin’s notions of dialogism and heteroglossia. Intertextuality is currently taken to refer to the co-presence of different texts within a given text, or, in Kristeva’s words, to the idea that “every text is the absorption and transformation of another text” – an idea later expanded by Gérard Genette as part of the wider concept of transtextuality. The focus on inter- and transtextuality has reflected a widespread tendency in literary and cultural studies to move away from the inherited notion of the text – or the work of art – as a unified, self-contained structure, towards a view that extends the textual paradigm to virtually any signifying nexus and emphasises the relational nature of all cultural productions.
Since the 1970s, the notion of intertextuality has been appropriated by many disciplines, including musicology, giving new impetus to the discussion of well-established but somewhat ill-defined topics such as “borrowing”, “imitation”, or “influence”, as well as drawing attention to the roles of the performer and the listener in the production and circulation of meaning. David Beard and Kenneth Gloag, for instance, have written: “The act of reading or, in the context of music, listening, involves tracing echoes and reflections of other texts. Therefore, all music can in some sense be seen and heard as intertextual”, and they go as far as to suggest that, in the context of twentieth-century music, “the inherent intertextuality of music has been enlarged upon as a compositional practice”.
In spite of the widespread use of the term in musical literature, however, it would seem that the notion of intertextuality as applied to music has not yet been made the focus of sustained critical attention from a theoretical, methodological and aesthetic perspective. This conference aims to address the theme in a pluralistic way, by focusing in particular on the conceptual questions involved in the application of the notion of intertextuality to music studies. It also aims to provide a background for the analysis of relevant case studies, to be drawn from the widest possible range of 20th- and 21st-century styles and repertoires, including art music, music for the stage and the movie screen, jazz, folk and popular music.

The following topics would be particularly welcome:

– Theories of intertextuality from a musicological perspective;

– Practices of re-composition;

– Listening as an intertextual process, and the aesthetics of reception;

– Intertextuality and performance studies;

– Intertextuality, intermediality and inter-arts studies;

– Intertextuality and narrativity;

– Intertextuality, topic theory and musical semantics;

– Intertextuality and/as cultural transfer.

The official language of the conference will be English. A selection of papers will be considered for publication in book form.

We invite scholars from various disciplines to contribute to this international conference. Please send abstracts (max. 300 words) for 20-minute papers (to be followed by 10 minutes’ discussion), in English, plus a short biographical note, to the conference organisers no later than 15 November 2014:

Paulo F. de Castro:
Federico Celestini:

Notification of acceptance will be given by 30 November 2014. The organisation is unable to cover any expenses, but it may be able to help with finding accommodation at special rates.

For further information, please contact:

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